I saw in my mind a little village of quaint little houses, and from within the houses lights shone forth, even through the windows for there was life within the houses. The light that shone through was the tale of the life within, for a man cannot live, or do business without light to see by, and all manner of work was done within the house by those inhabitants, so out from the windows and doors shone dancing, flickering light.
And as I beheld these houses, which were homes inhabited and filled with life – the houses did change and were no more houses but became mules. Still they were homes, and inside of them there was life but now the houses – the exterior hull was no more the shape of a house, but of beast. Yet the mules were homes to the men living inside them, and out from their eyes came the light of lanterns and candles, for there was still life within them; only the houses had changed to mules, still they were homes. And even more oddly, it was not merely the shape that changed, but the houses truly became beasts so that they had a mind of their own, but though they were living creatures they were but habitations for men living within them. But now these homes remained not bound to an earthly foundation, they WERE the earthly foundation, and they could roam and were no longer stationary like a house of wood. So the mules began to mull about, and do as they pleased, they fed on grass and thistles, and walked and did as they pleased… yet there were people living inside them whose interior life was altogether different than the lives of the beasts that carried them. Those inside could take control, and drive their homes, and make their mules do according as they drove them, but still their homes had their appetites, and pursued them, for they were living beings.
And this is the estate of man, for his body is but his home while he lives in this earth; his spirit (if alive) is that life within, the body may perish, and its breathe may cease, but the spirit of the man flies upward for it is but his house that has perished. But the house, itself, is alive and has its own appetites (this is that portion which is dust, and to dust will return). Your body – like the mule that wanders after the thistle, or burns in heat in its time to mate – is that portion which men call the ‘sinful nature’ but it is merely the appetites of one’s flesh; none of the appetites are wrong in themselves, for they are the nature of animal. We would not call an animal sinful for doing as nature called it, for the animal is not bound by moral law (not does a real animal have an eternal spirit). Yet when a beast is yoked, or restrained you can see it resist, and it resists because restraint is contrary to its natural appetites. So with man: your flesh is a beast, and will do according to its appetites, but you are the life within and must restrain your beast. Left unattended and unguided the flesh will ceaselessly gorge itself, and will burn in heat though it is not time to mate. You are an eternal being; the moral law is for your spirit’s consumption so that you can guide your flesh in righteousness (‘For the law is spiritual, but I am carnal [flesh]…’ (Rom 7:14)).
Let your spirit, therefore reign over your mortal bodies, and let not your mules have the charge of your deeds, for they are but the temporary house that you dwell in; and you, being aware of the moral law are held to account for it eternally, whereas your beast (with all its carnal appetites) will return to dust.
‘I said in my heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.’ – Ecclesiastes 3:18
[Related posts: Is Sin a Disease, or a Crime? Pt.1; and pt.2]